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In August, Boeing announced that it had successfully shot a stationary truck on the ground with a laser onboard a C-130 flying overhead. Last week video of what happens when airborne laser meets
truck was released showing metal sizzling from an area outlined in duct tape on the truck's hood. Boeing earlier said the test had "defeated the vehicle" although it's not clear in the accompanying
video what, if any, damage was done besides some melted sheet metal. Still, it represents a milestone in weapons technology which will have the result of making war just a little safer for those
caught in the crossfire.
The idea is to have these kinds of weapons available to carry out precision strikes that result in little collateral damage. The test more less proved the concept but there's plenty left to be done
to make it practical. For one thing, the test involved a chemical laser, which means just what it implies, carrying containers of chemicals in the aircraft to power the beam.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Japan's state-backed stab at earning a foothold in the commercial passenger jet market, has won a 100-plane order with a street value of $40 billion from a U.S.
regional carrier. Trans State Holdings, based in Missouri, operates GoJet and Trans States Airlines, along with feeder services for United and US Airways. Said Trans States President Richard Leach,
"Making a decision of this size in this economic situation was difficult." But Mitsubishi says the aircraft's Pratt & Whitney PW-1000G geared turbofan engines (shared by Bombardier C Series aircraft)
can bring fuel burn savings of up to 30 percent per hour over other similar but differently engined designs. A report by the AFT notes that Mitsubishi was "advised by US Aircraft maker Boeing" and
switched "to aluminum for the wings, from carbon-fibre." Boeing has suffered significant delays in the late stage development of its larger next-generation all-composite 787 Dreamliner, due most
recently to a redesign of the composite wing root.
Mitsubishi hopes to start production of the MRJ at its factory in Nagoya prefecture, eventually increasing production to 72 per year from 24. First deliveries are expected early in 2014. Trans
State is not the launch customer -- All Nippon Airways agreed in 2008 to purchase 25 of the jets.
Business Aviation Will Help Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis
To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that
surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for all.
Teledyne Continental Motors Inc. announced Friday that it will close for one week, Monday Oct. 5 through Monday Oct. 12, and will put other cost-cutting measures into effect "in response to reduced
demand" for the aircraft engines and parts it produces. Salaried staff will go to four-day workweeks as of Oct. 12 and vacations for Thanksgiving and Christmas will last one week each. Beyond that,
TCM has a shutdown planned for Jan. 4, to Jan. 9, 2010. The company says its goal is "to protect as much of our valuable employee base as possible," and rebuild its backlog while it endures this
period of reduced demand. Customers will not be left entirely in the dark during the closures. Sales will be open, TCM will make customer service available for emergency support calls, and
shipping/receiving will continue to manage delivery of incoming and outgoing orders. According to TCM, the cost cutting is only part of the company's slow-market strategy.
TCM has focused on initiatives to drive sales and cost controls that the company says have improved efficiency and lowered costs while also providing stability to aftermarket engine and parts
sales. However, increased efficiency at the factory, along with lower demand from the factory, has chipped away at order backlog. The closures, says the company, "will allow order backlog to grow to a
level that supports efficient factory operations."
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Air India has some trouble to sort out following reports Sunday that the crew of one of its commercial flights was involved in pilot/purser fisticuffs and pilot(s)/flight attendant sexual
harassment all while en route over Pakistan with 106 passengers aboard. The flight was out of UAE for Delhi, and the whole mess may have begun with confrontational verbal exchanges during the
pre-flight briefing. According to The Times Of India, it escalated in flight when the pilots' allegedly attempted to molest a female flight attendant in the cockpit. The flight attendant resisted the
alleged harassment and the altercation then spilled into the galley where, according to the BBC, punches were thrown. The event has ended (so far) with two crew members suspended, and two pilots
grounded with a molestation charge filed against them. It also seems that the pilots have since lodged their own complaint of misconduct against a male flight attendant, claiming the sexual harassment
(or molestation) charge is a false diversion from that real issue.
Unfortunately, the harassment charge pertains to a female flight attendant who has been examined and who police have determined was injured as the result of an assault. An investigation is ongoing
and further action is expected based on the results.
Avidyne is, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2009, offering "instant rebates" via its FlySafe promotion that will save single-unit buyers $500 and could save multiple-unit buyers up to $5,000. The deal is
applicable to Avidyne's Entegra, Entegra MFD, Wx, and Traffic series units, with one small catch. To save the money, customers must "register for the rebate" on Avidyne's Web site prior to purchase.
To save $5,000, you (or you representing four people) will have to buy four units. Purchasing just two through the program will knock $1,500 off of the price and buying three will save you $3,000.
Company COO Patrick Herguth says the initiative "is designed to provide substantial savings that make all of our safety-enhancing products -- including our full suite of displays and safety sensors --
available to an even wider number of aircraft owners."
The "instant rebate" means that customers "get the savings now and don't have to wait weeks or months for a future rebate payment," says Avidyne's Rob Higby. Higby says the promotion "is another
example of Avidyne's commitment to safety, simplicity, and affordability" in the general aviation market. For more information, click here.
Big South Fork Airpark is located 50 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee, and boasts an asphalt runway 5,500 feet in length, with four instrument approaches. The
airpark grounds, totaling 450 acres, offer 1-to-3+ acre home sites starting at $89,000. Personal hangars are also available and start at $95,000. Each home has convenient runway access and is in the
immediate vicinity of the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
information, visit BSFAirpark.com.
Witnesses saw a man appear to escape the single-engine float-equipped experimental Avid Catalina registered to 61-year-old Jim Eachus that sank Wednesday into Inks Lake near Burnet, Texas, but then
saw him disappear into the water. It took until Saturday morning for searchers to find the body of the pilot. Witnesses say one of the aircraft's pontoons appeared to run low in the water, sinking
until a wing touched the surface and the aircraft flipped over. The pilot, according to the witnesses, emerged from the plane's window but then disappeared into the water. The Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department deployed search parties in boats and employed SONAR to try to locate the missing pilot. The lake is about 40 feet deep in the area of the crash site and wind, noted in the FAA's preliminary
report out of the south gusting to 15 knots, pushed some of the aircraft's wreckage to shore, expanding the search area. A dive team that searched Wednesday and Thursday failed to find the pilot, who
was remembered by his instructor as a passionate, hard-working and excellent pilot who flew regularly.
Over the days that the search went on, searchers remained vigilant. "We're going to keep going out there and keep searching until we find him," Tom Harvey, Parks and Wildlife spokesperson told
Mark Dusenberry, vintage aircraft builder and pilot, was seriously injured Thursday when he crashed a replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer III at Huffman Prairie Flying Field. The airfield is cited by
some as the world's first airport. Dusenberry was practicing for the 104th Anniversary of Practical Flight ceremony planned for the week of Oct. 4. Huffman Prairie Field sits just south of the main
runway at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio. Dusenberry has flown the aircraft successfully at reenactments, but did suffer a minor crash at the same airfield on Oct. 5, 2007. This
year, he was just seconds into his second early morning flight when witnesses saw the aircraft begin to oscillate vertically before pitching down from about 20 feet and impacting the ground.
Dusenberry was conscious and talking with paramedics as he was airlifted by a CareFlight helicopter from the airfield to a local hospital. The flight ceremony, an event that includes educational
outreach programs for local students, has been canceled. (See local news video at right.)
The National Park Service, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance and others host the anniversary ceremony twice each year. The FAA's Cincinnati Flight Standards
District Office was at the site soon after the crash, "and are investigating the cause," according to the Air Force Materiel Command.
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Some days just don't go as planned and the crew of this Germania Airlines Boeing 737 was having one of those days on Wednesday. The Daily Mail says 200 starlings were
ingested by the right engine of the aircraft as it took off from Dusseldorf bound to Kosovo. There were 80 people on board. Planespotter Juergen Kienast said the engine pitch immediately changed as
the crew continued the takeoff.
The Daily Mail said the aircraft circled for 45 minutes before landing uneventfully. It characterized the damage to the airplane as "minor" although Germania might disagree when it gets the bill
for the engine. There were, of course, no injuries among the 80 passengers and crew on board.
It's not only the aircraft that needs fuel on a long cross country so the crew of a Canadian Forces CH-146 Griffon helicopter satisfied man and machine with two stops in Kenora, Ont. last week. The
crew was on its way from the garrison at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton to Thunder Bay, Ont. (about 900 nm). According to the Canadian Press, the crew of the medium-sized twin-engine single rotor
utility helicopter, based on the Bell 412 EP, landed at Kenora, two-thirds of the way to their destination, for fuel. There was no food available at the airport but there was a vacant ball diamond
across the street from an A&W in the nearby town.
Kenora residents, who are used to the buzz of aircraft landing on Lake of the Woods and the busy airport during tourist season were nevertheless bemused by the to-go mission of the crew. "It's a
huge double-door helicopter, which you don't see landing in the middle of town every day," resident Laura Madison said. "He went in and got some A&W takeout and took off. So we're laughing
because it was the strangest drive-thru we've ever seen." For the record, the crew took on a load of four Papa Burgers with cheese combos and couple of extra burgers without cheese according to server
World Class Service Since 1951 Crownair Aviation is offering lower labor rates and fuel discounts through 2009 when you combine services. Crownair Aviation has a history of customer satisfaction that spans more than five
decades and provides a wide range of aircraft services, including a dedicated fuel station, pilot and passenger amenities, personalized concierge service, hangar space, and two class-leading
maintenance and avionics service centers. As one of the most experienced and respected names on the West Coast, Crownair has been serving the aviation community since 1951 with integrity and
professionalism. For more information,
Jump For The Cause (JFTC) just set a record on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, for the largest female-only formation parachute jump of 181 women. Not being female and not being a skydiver, Dr. Brent
Blue decided to tag along anyway. Good thing, too, since Brent learned quite a bit logging air time with several dozen parachuting women and one talking lamb.
Really big events tend to raise really big amounts for charitable causes, and the Jump for the Cause was no exception, gathering almost $1 million for breast cancer research and setting a new world
record for women skydivers. Bambi Knight was one of 181 women who linked in so many ways in the searing heat of California last week, and she spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about the
Jeppesen Pilot Training
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Stability is a good thing ... except when it isn't. Nearly all general aviation aircraft are inherently stable, which makes them, in the words of military experimental test pilot
Desmond "Deuce" Brophy, "God-fearing aircraft." But the fighter jets Brophy flies and tests are a little different. During our visit to the flight test center at Edwards Air Force Base, Brophy
explained the fundamental aerodynamic differences between the aircraft we fly and what he calls "non-God-fearing aircraft."
(Don't let our censor bars distract you; they're simply there to protect some private names and numbers.)
eBooks & eVideos
Most titles on the AVweb Bookstore (including Jeppesen, McGraw-Hill, ICAO, and many others) are also available as electronic downloads. Why not consider an eBook in Adobe .PDF format?
Instant delivery. No shipping costs. Fully searchable, bookmarked, and hyperlinked. Hundreds of reference titles at your fingertips, in your laptop computer. Environmentally friendly. And no
import taxes to international customers. Are you sold yet?
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more, and download a sample to try it out.
Seemingly insignificant regulations can bite. So bite back and defang the FAA's oft-overlooked regs by testing your grasp of the Code of Federal Regulations. (Think old-school FARs, if you like. We
Aviation Consumer's survey of EFIS owners and users revealed widespread satisfaction with the technology. Some readers even described glass panels as having saved their lives. Consumer
editor Paul Bertorelli chuckled a bit at the thought, gave the pilot a little more credit that he did himself, and started thinking about how much the definition of "flying" has changed in a short
Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders
directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns.
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AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Five Star Jet Center at Barne Municipal Airport (KBAF) in Westfield,
AVweb reader Tim Stevens told us how 5SJC keeps 'em coming back for more with great prices and that old pilot favorite, free food "burgers and hot dogs on the patio while we
overlook the fueling on the ramp." Tim says "great hospitality and superior facilites" make this a must-stop destination when you're in the area.
Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips
via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.
The AVwebFlash team is:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn Pew
Features Editor Kevin Lane-Cummings
Webmaster Scott Simmons
Contributors Jeff van West Mariano Rosales
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